THE SUNDAY REVIEW: Suicide Watch by Kelley York

5/5

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 7.22.48 PMI don’t know about you guys, but I tend to go on writer kicks. Like, after reading Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, I went on a Rowell binge and read Attachments and Fangirl in the span of like, two days. And for the last week or two, I’ve been on a serious Kelley York binge. I loved her NA novel Hushed (which I reviewed a few weeks ago) and I had high expectations for Suicide Watch.

While this is quite different from Hushed, the two have a lot in common: they’re both dark, both intense, and both super well-written.

This sentence from the book blurb pretty much sums the story up – “A year ago, Vince watched a girl leap to her death off a bridge, and now he’s starting to think she had the right idea.

Vince is an 18-year-old who just graduated high school and is contemplating suicide. He finds a (beyond disturbing) pro-suicide group online, and meets two people there – Casper, a girl with terminal cervical cancer, and Adam, a guy whose home life is pretty shitty.

I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s powerful without being preachy, and it just reads really realistically. I’ve seen a lot of patients with depression/suicidal ideations, and this book rings pretty true. There’s a certain flatness to York’s writing — and I mean that as a huge compliment. If you talk with people who suffer from major depressive disorder, you’ll often hear this distinct, flat, apathetic tone.

Anyway, I’ll stop before I launch into a boring recitation of the DSM-5, but if you’re looking for a great read, definitely pick this one up. It’s a little disturbing and oftentimes super emotional – but ultimately uplifting. It’s also the first book in a long time that made me respond out loud to a scene (“Holy shit!”), and for that alone, it gets the blog’s first 5/5.

Happy reading!

xo Elizabeth

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WRITING WEDNESDAY: The Writer’s Holiday Wish List

After reading Ava Jae’s lovely holiday book recommendation list over on Writability (and putting a significant dent in my credit card buying most of them), I thought it would be fun to do the same! But, since most of the books I read this year have titles likeΒ Dubin’s Rapid Interpretation of ECGs or Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases, I’ve had to branch out a little from only books. Instead, I’ve created a sort of holiday wish list for writers — awesome gifts that you can get your favourite writer friend πŸ™‚

1. “WRITER” Bookends! So adorable, from Knob Creek Metal Arts.

2. Writing posters These are hundreds of these out there, but I especially love the one on the left, for some reason… πŸ˜‰

3. Writing Dishware! Okay, I know that people probably won’t buy/use this. But it’s so adorable, I had to include it.

4. Moleskine Notebooks Does anyone else just sort of collect Moleskine notebooks, even though they do all their writing on a computer? No? Just me? Mmk.

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5. THIS T-SHIRT! Hahahah okay I know it’s kind of ugly, but come on. It’s hilarious.

6. Books! (duh) Here are just a few of my favorites.

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A light, fun read with a quirky male protagonist.

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An all-time fave!

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Everything Shane Koyczan does is AMAZING ❀

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A great read for the holidays, if you have several work-free days to fill πŸ™‚

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I know everyone in the universe has already read this… but I hadn’t until last week, and it’s fantastic.

Hushed by Kelley York – a NA LGTB thriller. So creepy and awesome!!!

THE SUNDAY REVIEW: Hushed by Kelley York

4/5

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 2.03.12 PMOh, this book… what fun. Creepy, serial killer fun, but fun nonetheless.

I decided to download this after reading the review over on Writability — it was about twelve midnight, and I had to work the next morning at five (med school: I would not recommend it). I thought I’d read a few chapters and see if it was any good.

Cut to two hours later, when I finally finished it and went to bed. What a fun, addictive little read. It’s a bit creepy (the main character is a Dexter-esque serial killer), and the event that kicked off his killing spree is quite dark (and might be off-putting for some readers, just a warning). But it isn’t so dark/creepy that you put it down feeling icky.

In terms of writing, it wasn’t perfect — there were a few things I thought could have been fleshed out a little more, and I felt some of it suffered from White Room Syndrome — but overall it was fun and interesting and unique. And it gets two huge thumbs-up for diversity. It’s quite a tricky feat, walking the line between a NA LGBT romance and an eerie serial killer story, but Kelley York pulled it off quite nicely.